Cleveland Indians Goal #3: Go young in the bullpen
If you’re noticing a trend in this article, maybe something of a youth movement, it’s about to continue. Like the rotation and the lineup, it’s time to explore next season in the bullpen. That might mean releasing Bryan Shaw and Blake Parker to open up more innings and roster spots, but it needs to happen.
More from Away Back Gone
- Cleveland Guardians tantalizingly close to locking up AL Central tiebreakers
- Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona becomes meme in profanity-laced ejection
- Say goodbye to defensive shifts and hello to bigger bases, pitch clock in 2023
- Cleveland Guardians: Shane Bieber second-fastest to 800 strikeouts in major-league history
- The next week will make or break the Cleveland Guardians’ season
We, for the most part, know what we’re getting with Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak, but that’s really about it for the future. You could throw Nick Wittgren in there as well, but the rest of the bullpen for next year hasn’t been fully explored.
Through the rest of the season, the younger players should be given more opportunities. See what Nick Sandlin can do in a Bryan Shaw-type role. Try out Trevor Stephan in different situations since he was a Rule 5 selection and has been on the roster all season with only 28 appearances. Take a look at the newest additions to the roster, Francisco Perez and Justin Garza, and see if there’s something there for next season in the bullpen.
These pitchers are already on the roster, why not use them as much as possible? Bryan Shaw and Blake Parker most likely aren’t part of the club’s future, but these prospects could be. It’s time to pull out all the stops and use the rest of 2021 as an open competition to get a head start on Spring Training 2022.